In post-war London Viv Pearce, seeing married spiv Reggie, runs a dating bureau with Helen Giniver, who lives with her older lover, authoress Julia Standing. Viv's younger brother Duncan, a... See full summary »
In 19th century Victorian England, Mrs. Isabella Beeton produced what became an essential book for housewives of the day. She was married at a relatively young age to Sam Beeton, a ... See full summary »
A grieving upper class woman becomes a "Lady Visitor" at Millbank prison, hoping to escape her troubles and be a guiding figure in the lives of the female prisoners. Of all her friendships ... See full summary »
After a 4 year stay in London, Jen has come home to bury her mother. Her boyfriend of two years, Tom, accompanies her home. Her former flame, Scobie, meanwhile is struggling with what to do... See full summary »
Susan "Sue" Trinder is a fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives in the slums of London with a baby farmer (person who looks after unwanted babies) Mrs.Sucksby. When a once rich man... See full summary »
In nineteenth century Yorkshire wealthy orphan Anne Lister lives with an aunt and uncle, anxious for her to marry well and blissfully - unaware that she is a lesbian. Anne is recording her ... See full summary »
In post-war London Viv Pearce, seeing married spiv Reggie, runs a dating bureau with Helen Giniver, who lives with her older lover, authoress Julia Standing. Viv's younger brother Duncan, a tormented homosexual, has been in prison and is sought out by his - straight - ex-cellmate Robert Fraser, who served time as a conscientious objector and is now concerned for the boy's welfare. Viv encounters Kay Langrish, a wealthy, reclusive butch lesbian and for both women this evokes memories of 1944 when Kay was an heroic ambulance driver and Helen was Kay's girlfriend, before Kay introduced her to her ex-lover Julia. Viv had an illegal abortion, funded by Reggie, and, after she needed hospital treatment, Kay saved her from prosecution by claiming she was a married woman who had miscarried. Three years earlier Kay and Julia are still an item and Viv meets unhappily married soldier Reggie on a train. Kay pulls Helen from the wreckage of a bombed house whilst we learn why Duncan was in prison ... Written by
don @ minifie-1
If you go to the cinema, midway through a film, you watch the second half first, don't you? So you see how the characters end up, in the story. What happened to turn them into the people they became? It's like a riddle you have to solve.
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Spellbinging stories of love and loneliness during the London Blitz
The Night Watch employs an unusual narrative structure (presumably duplicated from the novel by Sarah Waters) which begins in 1947, then flashes back not once but twice to show us how the large cast of characters came to arrive at the "end" of the story. This device isn't simply a flashy trick; it's integral to the movie's richly layered meditation on time and circumstance.
Human relationships are the heart of the story, as we see various friends and lovers couple and decouple against the background of London during the Blitz and the aftermath of WWII. The atmosphere is dark and sensual, the music is mesmerizing, and the performances are riveting.
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at a film festival with no prior knowledge of it, and won't say anything more to spoil its wonderful surprises. I can only say, emphatically, that it should not be missed.
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